With Michael Clarke still nursing a back injury, Australia on Friday appointed Michael Hussey as the vice-captain of its 15-member squad for the seven-match one-day cricket series against India starting October 25.
Apart from Clarke, Australia will also be without regular wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who is recuperating from a finger surgery. Tim Paine, who did well in both the one-day series against England and the just-concluded Champions Trophy, has been named Haddin’s replacement.
Besides, Callum Ferguson and pacer Nathan Bracken will also miss the series due to their respective knee injuries.
Opener Shaun Marsh has been roped back into the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury. Rookie left-arm spinner Jon Holland, who is playing for Victoria Bushrangers in the ongoing Champions Twenty20 League has also been named in the side.
“Michael Clarke is continuing his rehabilitation from back soreness and Mike Hussey will be the vice captain for this tour. Brad Haddin continues his rehabilitation from finger surgery and Tim Paine, following a fine ICC Champions Trophy, is selected as wicket keeper,” Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch said in a statement.
“Callum Ferguson continues to consult specialists over the knee injury he picked up during the ICC Champions Trophy final and is not available for this tour. Nathan Bracken is also unavailable due to a knee injury,” he added.
“Shaun Marsh returns after recovering from hamstring injury, having been an important and successful member of the one day side before that injury,” the statement read.
Commenting on Holland’s selection, Hilditch said the spinner has been rewarded for his fine show while being in the Australia ‘A’ team.
“Jon Holland is in the squad as we wanted to take the opportunity to give a young left arm finger spinner exposure both to the Australian team set up and Indian conditions. He has impressed in the recent Australia ‘A’ series against Pakistan and in his time at CA’s Centre of Excellence. If an opportunity arises on tour we feel he will equip himself very well at international level,” he said.
Hilditch said the squad is strong enough to come good in the tough Indian conditions and reassert itself as the top one-day side in the world.
”...we have to continue to improve and to establish a winning culture within this young group of players on tough tours, like this, to India. We expect the Indian series to be extremely testing, but the young squad is looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
The squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Hussey (vice captain), Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz, Jon Holland, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Peter Siddle, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.